The 20 Weight-Loss Staples You Should Always Have In Your Kitchen

Don't risk another day without them.

September 8, 2016
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Have you ever stood in your kitchen and realized there was nothing to eat that fits in your weight-loss program? I sure have. I think I had a problem with not only meal planning but also shopping for healthy staples that I could use in different ways for meals, snacks, and desserts. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Here are 20 weight-loss staples that I always have on hand—and you should, too.

Precut Vegetables

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Go ahead and buy those packs of precut vegetables that your grocery store offers. You’ll be more likely to stir-fry them, throw them into soups, or eat them with some hummus if you don’t have to cut them up first.

Pre-washed Organic Salad

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I love pre-washed organic salad because I’m a busy mom of seven and I’m all about saving time and eating healthy. I use the greens in smoothies, salads, and wraps.

In-Season Fruits and Vegetables

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It’s important to have lots of fruits and vegetables on hand. When they’re in-season, they’re less expensive, taste better, and stay fresh longer.

Low-Sodium Broths

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Making your own broth is great, but sometimes you just don’t have time. Buy a low-sodium broth to have on hand for soups, flavoring pasta or rice, or making a low-calorie roux.

Low-Calorie Cheese Sticks

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These little cheese sticks aren’t just for kids. Buy some lower-calorie cheese sticks to eat when you want a few calories and sustained energy.

Fruit Popsicles

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Dessert doesn’t need to be off-limits when you’re losing weight, but high-calorie desserts should be severely limited. Fruit popsicles often have less than 100 calories.

Dark Chocolate Squares

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I’m a chocolate fan, but I knew better than to have M&M’s or other candy in the house when I was trying to lose weight. Having individually packaged dark chocolate squares gave me a treat that was relatively low in calories and good for my health.

Dried Beans

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I cook dried beans when I have some down time, then freeze them for later. You can get great prices on dried beans at a local co-op or in the bulk bins at your grocery store.

Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts

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Having a supply of fresh or frozen boneless skinless chicken breasts on hand is great for your diet. I use them in stews, soups, casseroles, salads, stir-fries, and wraps.

Lean Beef or Turkey

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Unless you’re a vegetarian, lean beef and turkey are good weight-loss staples. Low in calories and versatile, they’re both excellent sources of protein.

Frozen Vegetables

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Don’t roll your eyes at frozen vegetables. These are terrific in soups, steamed, or in stir-fries. Make sure to buy vegetables that don’t have any high-calorie sauces added to them.

Eggs

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Eggs are high in protein, low in calories, and make a great snack or main dish.

Nut Butter

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Be careful with the calories in nut butters (such as peanut butter), but a little bit of your favorite type gives you healthy fats and helps you stave off hunger.

Coconut Oil

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Like nut butters, coconut oil is high in calories. Still, it’s great to use while stir-frying vegetables or baking. Remember that 1 tablespoon has about 120 calories.

Yogurt

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Yogurt is one of those life staples that also works well for weight loss. Choose plain yogurt and flavor it yourself with fresh fruit or granola.

Rolled Oats

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Oats are good for your cholesterol levels, plus they’re super-filling and easy to prepare. I like to use oats for overnight oatmeal, granola bars, and muffins.

Quinoa, Couscous, Whole Wheat Pasta

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Whole grains are filling and not your enemy. The right kinds of grains are a staple because they give you fiber, fill you up, and are extremely versatile. Just stay away from processed grains like white flour and regular pasta.

Herbs and Spices

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Herbs and spices can make even the most boring chicken breast taste delicious. Stock up on your favorites and consider growing some in small pots.

Milk or Milk Substitute

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I’m not a fan of milk but if you like it, by all means include it in your diet. If you avoid cow’s milk, try almond or soy milk.

Sweet Potatoes

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Sweet potatoes are like candy to me, even without a sprinkle of brown sugar. You can bake them, roast them, or even boil them.

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